"Memory Lane TV" Soothes Anxiety & Agitation in Dementia

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Mr. Dallow is a composer and pianistand is the co-founder of two orchestras, the New York Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and thePhilharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey.The New Jersey Neuroscience Institute at JFK Medical Center is a comprehensive facilitydesigned exclusively for the diagnosis, treatment, and research of complex neurological andneurosurgical disorders in adults and children. Services offered at the Institute include programs in minimally-invasive and reconstructive spine surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, brain tumors,dizziness and balance disorders, epilepsy, sleep, memory problems/dementia, cerebral palsy,stroke, and spasticity and movement disorders.

As a department of Seton Hall University'sSchool of Graduate Medical Education, NJNI serves as the clinical setting for SHU's residencytraining in neurology. Martin Gizzi, MD, PhD is Professor and Chairman of Neuroscience at Seton Hall UniversitySchool of Graduate Medical Education, Chairman of the NJ Neuroscience Institute, andPresident of the Medical Advisory Board of MFAS. He holds a PhD in experimental psychology,an MD and is a board certified neurologist. He has been a prolific researcher, securing grantsfrom the National Institutes of Health and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. His research with NASA led to several experiments performed on board the space shuttle.Project design and resultsFor this project, MFAS provided live, interactive music performances at a long-term carefacility.

23 patients with diagnoses of dementia were enrolled with appropriate consent. Stafftracked the number of falls, number of times sedating medication was given and quality of lifeusing the Quality of Life in Dementia (QOLID) scale. QOLID was developed in 1988(Alexopoulos et al, 1988a,b) and has been extensively validated in populations with dementia(Brod et al, 1999; Logsdon et al, 1999 and Ready et al, 2002).

The current study used a repeated measures design, testing subjects before and after two live music performances given six weeksapart. Each set of measures was taken at two-week intervals.The principal result was a measured increase in quality of life as measured by the QOLID.Scores increased significantly following each performance, and maintained this increase for aslong as six weeks. The effect was highly significant (F (5, 105) = 4.12, p = .002).

There was atrend for the use of sedating medications to fall in the two-week period following each

performance; however, because the overall use was so low there was not a signficiant effect (F(5,105) <1, p=.84).

Similarly there was a trend of decline in the number of falls in the two-weekperiod following each performance, but the effect was not significant (F (5, 105) <1, p = .5).The results strongly support the value of live musical performances in facilities that care forpatients with dementia and speak directly to the mission of Music For All Seasons.

The non-significant trends suggest that larger studies would be helpful in documenting decreased risk anddecreased medical expenses for patients attending regular musical performances.

It is our intentto repeat the study with a larger sample and using a control population rather than a repeatedmeasures design.

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